By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

MVP Izquierdo leads Porters 'Murderers Row' past Minooka for WJOL/Don Ladas Tourney 3-Peat


Last updated 4/23/2021 at 10:52am

After destroying Lincoln-Way West (12-2, five innings) and Providence (12-2, six innings) in the 14th Annual WJOL/Don Ladas Memorial Tournament, the two-time defending tournament champion Lockport Porters were looking for the three-peat at the expense of the always dangerous Minooka Indians.

In the first two games of the tournament, Lockport's murderer's row of a lineup crushed the baseball at a .440 clip.

Led by the tournaments MVP, junior first baseman, Victor Izquierdo (2-for-4, 2RBI) the Porters (5-1) crushed the Indians 9-1.

As in Wednesday's semifinal win over Providence, the Porter bats did not awake until the fifth inning.

A four-run fifth inning, highlighted by a three-run blast by Izquierdo, lead the Porters past Providence in the semifinals on Wednesday.

With Lockport leading 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Minooka's starting pitcher, freshman Ryan Anderson, had controlled the hard-hitting Porters through four innings.

The 15-year old Anderson walked Porters No. 9 hitter, centerfielder Ricky Pospisil (1-for-2, 2R, BB), to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Anderson walked all-tournament Porters second baseman Matt Santarelli (1-for-2, 2R, 2BB) and then plunked all-tournament selection Ryan Moerman to load the bases.

An Anderson wild pitch scored Pospisil for a 3-1 Porter lead.

The MVP Izquierdo singled to left, scoring Santarelli, to make it 4-1 Porters.

"When there is no one on base, when I come to the plate, I am a free-swinger," Izquierdo said. "When there

are men on base, I turn into a situational hitter and adjust to the current situation."

Entering the championship game, Porter sophomore third baseman Anthony Martinez had not participated in the Porters' hits fest. On Thursday night, he made up for his lack of production big-time.

Martinez doubled and scored on junior Kyle Kevish's RBI ground out to put the Porters up 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Martinez turned the lights out on the Indians with his second double driving home two Porter runs for a 6-1 lead to highlight the six-run Porter fifth.

Martinez then hammered his third double of the game, driving in his third Porter run, to make it 9-1 in the bottom of the sixth.

"Amazing" Martinez said. "I had not had a hit in the tournament and to have three doubles and three RBI in the championship game is unreal. We got the three-peat and it feels great to be all-tournament."

After his three-double, three RBI night, it made it a no-brainer for the all-tournament selection committee to add the hard-hitting sophomore to the team.

For the second straight game, Porter junior right-handed reliever David Zaragoza (2-0) picked up the win in relief. Zaragoza relieved Porters starting pitcher Michael Hughes (3.2IP. 1R, 2H,1ER,2K,2BB) with two outs in the fourth.

Zaragosa got the third out of the fourth inning and when the Porters took the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, he became the pitcher of record. Zaragoza mowed the Indians down over the next three innings to pick up the win.

"We really wanted to get the three peat and we did," Zaragoza said. "I went out there tonight and threw strikes. I was saved by my outstanding defense. My outfielders and infielders made great defensive plays for me."

Izquierdo put the Porters up 1-0 with an RBI single in the third. For the tournament, Izquierdo got five hits in his nine tournament at bats, with a home run and six RBI.

"The three peat did not come without a lot of hard work and dedication by our team," Izquierdo said. "We are pleased to have won the championship and it feels great to be chosen Most Valuable Player."

After Lockport took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, the Indians tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.

Senior Casey Swanson led off the Indians fourth with a single. After a sacrifice bunt from all-tournament selection senior Joey Gould, all-tournament selection junior Caleb Parker drove him home with an RBI single.

Senior right-handed pitcher Kyle Walter and senior second baseman Niko Bibian were also Indians all-tournament selections.

"This was a very competitive ball game for four and a half innings," Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic said. "Ryan (Anderson) pitched well for us and just ran out of gas in the fifth. Lockport hit the ball hard but I felt we hit the ball even harder.

"What won the game for Lockport, was the numerous, outstanding plays made by their defense. As all championship teams do, Lockport took advantage of the free outs we gave them."

"Victor (Izquierdo) is a special talent," Lockport coach Andy Satunas said. "Victor is one of our team leaders. He is very confident but very level-headed. It is an honor to have won this great tournament for the third consecutive time.

"What a game for sophomore Anthony Martinez and another win for our reliever, junior David Zaragoza. It's very early and I am sure there will be some bumps in the road with the schedule we play but this has the makings of a very special season here at Lockport."


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